About the Event

Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc. would like to thank everyone who helped make ENCORE such a success!
A net total of $100,000 was raised from this fantastic event.

Thank you to the incredible sponsors, volunteers, attendees, donors, and businesses who supported our auction. Sponsors include Richard & Lea Rubenstein, Hoffman Auto Group, Peoples Bank, Waypoint Wealth Solutions, Falcetti Pianos, Powerstation Events, The Society Room of Hartford, Ruth & Ron Van Winkle, and Trinity College. Underwriters include Jayne Dean & Gaetano Albani, Peter & Gene Evans, Busy Bee’s Virtual Assistance & Management, and HAS Insurance.

If you missed the event, you may still contribute in support of ENCORE! Tax-deductible donations may be made online HERE, over the phone at 860-523-5900 x10, or by mail to Playhouse on Park at 244 Park Rd. West Hartford, CT 06119.

Evening includes dinner, drinks, live/silent auctions, dancing with the Latanya Farrell Band, and live performances paying tribute to the work of John Kander including CHICAGO, CABARET, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, and more!

Young Professional - $150 | Patron - $200 | Benefactor - $300

Tables of Eight*
Patron - $1600 | Benefactor - $2400

*We can accommodate tables of 8-12 guests. If you need a larger table, please purchase additional tickets and contact Emma Mills at EMills@PlayhouseTheatreGroup.org or (860) 523-5900 ext. 15

Read about the event here on We-ha.com

For more information on the event, or sponsor/advertising inquiries, please contact Emma Cook via email at ECook@PlayhouseTheatreGroup.org,
or by phone at 860-523-5900 ext. 15


Event Venue



Event Menu

6pm - 7:30pm: Open Bar

6pm - 7:30pm: Stationary & Butler Passed Hors d’oeuvres

Stationary: Charcuterie Board | Harvest Table | Mediterranean Bar

Passed: Avocado Shrimp Cocktail | Barbeque Meatloaf, Tomato Jam, Cowboy Onions | Brie Cheese & Fig Panini, Toasted Baguette
| Caprese Arancini, Basil Pesto | Vegan “Sausage” Stuffed Cremini Mushroom

8:00pm: Dinner Stations (cash bar)

Carved Station: Garlic & Herb Crusted Sirloin, Rosemary Demi | Grilled Chicken with Bacon Spinach Cream Sauce |
Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Chef's Selection of Seasonal Pairing | Seasonal Green Salad | Herb Roasted Potatoes |
Seasonal Vegetarian Pasta | Seasonal Roasted Vegetables | Hinged Rolls & Seasonal Butter

Paella Station: Grand Banks Chorizo (Naugatuck) | Local Clams & Mussels | Grilled Chicken |
Petite Shrimp | Mediterranean Salad | Saffron Rice with Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Salsa Verde | Assorted Baguettes 

9:00pm: Dessert

Locally Roasted Regular & Decaf Coffee and Assorted Herbal Teas
Flourless Chocolate Cake

10:30pm: Late Night Munchies in the Cottage

Truffle Parmesan Pommes Frites | Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Sweet Tots | Beer Battered Curly Fries
Crispy Onion Ring served with Cheddar Beer Fondue, Maple Crema, Ketchup, Chipotle Aioli

Artists & Performers

Your Hosts

THAO NGUYEN Thao is a Director/Producer/Actor/Singer who is comfortable on both the operatic and musical theatre stage. He is acclaimed by critics for his "velvety baritone and his ease and grace on stage." Notable Performances: Off Broadway/Regional- Tropical Angels, Miss Saigon, Shrek, 25th Annual..., South Pacific and Pippin in which he was voted "Best Performer in a Musical" BroadwayWorld CT. As a champion for new music in the classical world, he was delighted to be a part of the evolution of opera in the first-of-its-kind "virtual opera” Fortune's Children by David Wolfson with Hartford Opera Theater, which is now streaming on BroadwayOnDemand. An active film/tv/commercial actor, you can catch him in Marvel's She-Hulk available on Disney+ and in the feature film "Nemesis Eterna" coming in 2024, along with many national commercials. He is represented by The Brock Agency for Film/TV/Commercial. A graduate of UNC School of the Arts, Thao is currently based in Winston Salem, where he maintains a private voice studio. You can follow him on Instagram, TikTok, & Facebook @thetaoofThao and www.thaotnguyen.com for further information.

VICTORIA MOONEY Victoria “Tori” Mooney was born and raised on Hilton Head Island, SC! After Tori moved to CT in 2009, she performed at theaters across the state. She made her Playhouse on Park debut in 2013 in GO DOG GO!, and has been heavily engaged in all things Playhouse ever since. She has performed in 8 Theatre for Young Audience productions and 8 stop/time dance theater shows. She is a regular performer in Mama D’s Outrageous Romps. Tori is a current teaching artist for Playhouse Theatre Academy, as well as the Volunteer Coordinator. You see her most frequently when you attend a show because her main position is the Front of House Manager. Tori is jazzed to be co-hosting ENCORE again!

Featured Artists

VEANNE COX is an actress who has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, on TV and in films, on streaming series and podcasts and at leading regional theaters. She has been nominated for Tony and Emmy awards, and has received a Special Drama Desk award and an Obie award for Sustained Excellence. On Broadway she has been seen in the world premieres of An American in Paris, Tony Kushner’s CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, Neil Simon’s THE DINNER PARTY, John Guare’s A FREE MAN OF COLOR and the 1995 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY. Off-Broadway she was in the world premieres of Craig Wright’s BLIND, Nicky Silver's THE ALTRUISTS, Chuck Mee’s PARADISE PARK, A.R. Gurney's LABOR DAY, among many other appearances, Horton Foote’s THE OLD FRIENDS, and in a concert staging of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Carnegie Hall. Regional theater work includes the world premieres of B.D. Wong’s musical MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS at the Ogunquit Playhouse, and Ken Ludwig’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at the McCarter Theatre, as well as THE MUSIC MAN at the Kennedy Center, Noel Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES at the Guthrie Theatre, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST at La Jolla Playhouse, Moliere’s THE IMAGINARY INVALID at Yale Repertory Theatre, and several plays at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC, including THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, TWELFTH NIGHT, THEMERRY WIVES OF WINDOSR, THE BEAUX' STRATAGEM and THE WAY OF THE WORLD. On television she has been seen on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Indoor Boys, Cady Did, New Amsterdam, NCIS New Orleans, Smash and many others, including Seinfeld and the1997 version of Cinderella. Film work includes Summoning Sylvia, Radium Girls, Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool, Erin Brockovich, and You’ve Got Mail. She appears on the cast albums of the Broadway productions of Company, Caroline, or Change, and An American in Paris. She was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, studied ballet and danced with The Washington Ballet Company, and makes her home in New York City.

JAYKE WORKMAN is a non-binary performer based in New York City! A graduate of The Hartt School in Hartford, CT, Jayke has performed regionally all over the country, from Aspen, Colorado, to Cape Cod. Most recently they were seen as Mary Sunshine in Chicago The Musical on Broadway. When not onstage, Jayke works in the wig department for Saturday Night Live.

Guest Artists

is feeling “jazzed” to be making her performance debut at Playhouse on Park. A musical theater graduate of the Hartt School, Olivia spent the pandemic years working to earn her master’s in secondary English Education from the University of Connecticut. She now teaches at a local middle school in Newington where she is also the assistant director of their theater program. Olivia can be spotted with her band, Soundbite, performing at Connecticut venues over the summer. She would like to thank Darlene and Benjamin for the special performance opportunity!

THOMAS DOELGER A WeHa native, Thomas is excited to be here celebrating Playhouse on Park! International/National Tour Credits: A Chorus Line (Shanghai Premier). Regional Credits: The Little Mermaid, Sound of Music, Disney’s When You Wish (Tuacahn Center for the Arts), The Donkey Show (ART, dir. Diane Paulus), High Society (Winnipesaukee Playhouse), What Is This Place? (Kennedy Center, dir. Bill T Jones).


is from West Hartford, CT who loves working at her home theatre Playhouse on Park where she has been involved in over 20 productions, including: NUNSENSE (Sr. Amnesia), SPELLING BEE (Schwarzy), CHARLIE BROWN (Sally), directing CURIOUS GOERGE and assistant choreographer on THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS and IN THE HEIGHTS. Additional select credits include: NATIONAL TOURS: Roundabout Theatre’s CABARET (Rosie, cello/violin), HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, REGIONAL: GREASE (Patty Simcox), ROCKY HORROR (Columbia), CABARET (Kost). She is also an accomplished cellist and has played at Goodspeed Opera House, Playhouse on Park, CBS Christmas Special, and various NYC theaters. When not performing Hillary teaches theatre and coaches gymnastics.

is a New York City based actor, singer, and musician. A Wethersfield native and proud graduate of The Hartt School, she is thrilled to be back in Hartford, joining this fantastic lineup of performers. Favorite performances include: Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Rev), Sweeney Todd (Connecticut Rep), A Little Night Music (Monomoy Theatre). When not onstage, Olivia teaches music to talented kids and sings as much jazz as she can!


has been performing at Playhouse on Park since it’s memorable first season! Some favorite POP credits include: Stop TIME Dance MACHINE (stop/time Dance Theater), Mother Superior (NUNSENSE), SAY THINGS FUNNY: A Loving Tribute to Carol Burnett, Host (MAMA D'S OUTRAGEOUS ROMPs), Heidi [TITLE OF SHOW], Mrs. Pinkerton (PINK-ALICIOUS) and Miss Nelson/Viola Swamp (MISS NELSON IS MISSING). She got her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Western Connecticut State University.

a Queens- based artist, theatrically trained, musically inclined. To experience her music listen to “LCVE” by loser cruiser or her debut album “River Body” by Blue Løvborg. Playhouse on Park: Mama D’s Outrageous Romp, CABARET, SWINGING ON A STAR.



(they/he) Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Sage is a multi-hyphenate performer and singer/songwriter based in New York. Select credits: DANDELION (Playhouse on Park), RENT, ROCKY HORROR SHOW, SEUSSICAL (Weston Theater Company), SHREK (BroadwayWorld Best Production), HEAD OVER HEELS, METAMORPHOSES. They write music under “lavender boy” on Spotify/Apple Music. Sage is an advocate for experimental theater, brave new works and accessibility for artists of all abilities. BFA Boston Conservatory. sagejepson.com / ig: @sx.ge

grew up in Vernon, Connecticut and now lives closer to the sea in Niantic. You may have caught her in Playhouse on Park's production of Pippin last summer! Other credits include being a Radio City Rockette, Susan Stroman’s Merry Widow at both the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC and the Lyric Opera in Chicago, several productions of Young Frankenstein including the NETworks national tour and at Ogunquit Playhouse, and regional productions of: The Will Rogers Follies, Spamalot, Anything Goes, Chicago, Mamma Mia! and 42nd St. Kristen's favorite credit is being mom to Beckett and Quentin. She holds a BFA in dance from Ailey/Fordham University and is a graduate of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

SPENCER POND is a Pop Artsurdist based out of Queens, NY. They aim to create dance pieces that are flamboyant and rhythmic, with community on the brain, and tongue in the cheek. You may recognize him from the Playhouse on Park stage as a former member of stop/time dance theater, or a cast member in productions such as SWINGING ON A STAR, CHICAGO, A CHORUS LINE, or Mama D's Outrageous Romp to name a few. @spenceyspice

Additional Artists

CALVIN BITTNER is a performer and choreographer living in Hartford, CT. He graduated from The Hartt School in 2017 with a degree in Dance Performance. Since then he spent a year as a company artist with Ballet Hartford (formerly Vivid Ballet), and is now freelancing as a choreographer, ballet teacher, and performer. He is currently on faculty at The Hartt School (University of Hartford) and Ballet Theater Company of West Hartford. His Choreographic work has been presented at The American College Dance Association, University of Saint Joseph, The Alvin Ailey School, and Jacob’s Pillow. He has also pursued work as a professional wig stylist. AMELIA FLATER is thrilled to be back supporting Playhouse on Park! She performs regularly on the Playhouse stage with stop/time dance theater and for Mama D’s Outrageous Romps. When she’s not dancing, Amelia spends her time working as a Physician Assistant. She is incredibly proud of her mom, Tracy, and all that she has accomplished with Playhouse on Park and for the community over the years. She is forever grateful for her time with Playhouse, which introduced her to the most amazing friends and to her wonderful husband, Niko. ALI FORMAN was just seen on stage in stop/time dance theater's stop TIME dance MACHINE - her 8th season with her stop/time family! When she’s not dancing, you can find her working at Intensive Education Academy in West Hartford as a speech-language pathologist, and being a mom to her two fur babies, Hardy and Millie! She is thankful for her family and friends for their constant love and support. A special thanks to Darlene for her years of guidance and for the incredible opportunity to live her passion for dance year after year.  
RAE JANEIL (she/they) is a prolific performer, director and choreographer. She was last seen at PoP in Pippin as a Player and in The Scottsboro Boys as The Lady. Favorite performing credits include Jo in The Legend of Georgia McBride (Ivoryton Playhouse), Rosie in Cabaret (Ivoryton Playhouse), Joanne in Rent (Opera House Players), Mae in The Wild Party (Brookfield Theater for the Arts), and Michelle in Dreamgirls (Fairfield Center Stage). Favorite Choreography credits include White Christmas, Footloose, Frozen, and Urinetown while Director credits include Blood at the Root, How to Tie a Tie, and Brave Blood. This year is filled with directing opportunities and you will soon see their work at Downtown Cabaret with 9 to 5, Little Theater of Manchester with Crowns and Brookfield Theater for the Arts with August Wilson's one man show, How I Learned What I Learned. NIKO TOUROS Playhouse on Park: Usnavi IN THE HEIGHTS, Male Swing MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY, Actor 2 ALL IS CALM: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914. Other favorite credits: Celebrity Cruises: Production Cast Vocalist; Warner Bros: The Flash DC JUSTICE LEAGUE LIVE; Seven Angels: Reggie, et. al. FIRST DATE; Pittsburgh Musical Theatre: Crutchie NEWSIES. Niko is a native of NYC and a student at CCSU, where he is studying to be a PK-12 physical education teacher. Thank you to Jill, Darlene, Sean, & Tracy for the opportunity to work on this world premiere production! Love always to Amelia, the best wife.    

BENJAMIN RAUCH (Music Director) leads a multi-faceted career as a countertenor, composer, conductor, and educator. He spent a year singing soprano with Chanticleer, America's premier a cappella vocal ensemble, performing on major concert stages across the United States, Europe, and Japan, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Vienna's Musikverein. With the GRAMMY® awarding winning ensemble, Benjamin performed live on NBC’s popular morning television program “Today”. Solo engagements include Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Kodály's Missa Brevis, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Hamor in Handel’s Jephtha, The Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, The Premiere of La Lombardesca with music of the Polish Baroque, and The Connecticut Premiere of David Briggs’ Requiem. He has performed as a soloist with numerous ensembles including Chanticleer, Crescendo, The Greater New Haven Community Chorus, The New Haven Chorale, New Britain Symphony Orchestra, Beth El Symphony Orchestra, CitySingers of Hartford, Hartford Opera Theater, Chorus Angelicus, and Gaudeamus. In 2020, he was part of Opera Harmony's Digital Creations Created in Confinement where he played David in Ken Steen's Apart/Mental, which won the Bury Court Opera Award.

Regularly commissioned as a choral composer, Benjamin has written numerous works for ensembles including The First Church of Christ in Hartford - Center Church Choir, The St. Patrick – St. Anthony Gallery Choir, and The Hartt Singers.

Benjamin is the founder and director of Benjamin Rauch Voice Studios where he teaches private voice, and the Artistic Director of Vocal Intensive Program (VIP), a ten-day summer festival for singers. Also at home in musical theater, Benjamin has served as music director for over 20 productions throughout the northeast. His first collaboration with Playhouse On Park was as music director for the filmed production of ALL IS CALM in 2020. Benjamin has taught at The Hartt School for the last 15 years. Outside of Hartt, he teaches his own Ear Training for Singers course #raucheartraining, which makes musicianship training available to those who would otherwise not have access to this kind of education. @benjaminrauch

Dancing til' midnight to the music of Latanya Farrell!

Latanya is an ordinary woman with an ordinary life who brings an extraordinary voice to the music scene during live performances and on her debut album “Feelin’ Alright”. Uplifting melodies and powerful vocals are the hallmark of her songs about life, love and happiness. Latanya Farrell has emerged as a band leader full of energy who is uniquely gifted at engaging audiences with her bright smile and impeccable style. Blending Latanya’s original music with popular cover tunes, she performs to packed houses throughout New England. Her presence is infectious, and the energy keeps flowing throughout the entire performance with music that ranges from soulful classics to urban contemporary to her inspiring originals.

Extraordinary Voice
Latanya's powerful performances are packed with people both far and near who come to hear her incredible vocals. Dubbed the “Queen of Summer Concerts” by the Hartford Courant in 2013, Latanya Farrell is a multitalented gifted singer, songwriter, and performer with genuine passion, energy, and a love for music and life.

Since winning Connecticut Star Search in 2003, Latanya has had leading musical roles which include performing “Songs in the Key of Life” at the Bushnell Theater as well as other large venues sharing the stage with amazing artists such as Wynton Marsalis and Air Supply.

Latanya has been featured on several albums including her longtime friend and world-renowned saxophonist Jimmy Greene’s Grammy Award nominated album, “A Beautiful Life”, which was dedicated to Jimmy and Nelba Márquez-Greene’s beautiful precious daughter, Ana Grace, who was tragically lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Energetic Performer
Latanya's award-winning vocal talent and style have been influenced by Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, and Jill Scott. With performance roots in her family church and community events, her career took off shortly after she was named Champion of the 2003 Connecticut Star Search competition.

Listen to Latanya and get excited to dance at Encore!

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Jayne Dean & Gaetano Albani

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